UH Men's Basketball and Volleyball Coaches Receive New Contracts

Riley Wallace to remain men's basketball coach and Mike Wilton to remain men's volleyball coach thru 2005

University of Hawaiʻi
Lois Manin, (808) 956-4480
Sports Information Director
Kate Wester, (808) 956-9095
Director of Public Relations and Special Events
Posted: Jan 17, 2003

The University of Hawai'i Board of Regents today approved new contracts for Riley Wallace, the UH Mānoa men's basketball coach and the winningest coach in UH basketball history, and Michael Wilton, the UH Mānoa men‘s volleyball coach and one of the most successful volleyball coaches in the country. Wallace's contract will be extended until April 30, 2005 and Wilton‘s contract will be thru May 31, 2005.

"I am excited that the Board of Regents has given validation to two excellent coaches," said UH President Evan Dobelle. "Both teams have thrived under their respective coaches."

Riley Wallace

"The extension of Riley Wallace's contract, I believe, is a testimony of the great job he has done with our men's basketball program," said UH Athletics Director Herman Frazier. "Personally, I am impressed with the student-athletes on his team and the style of play our fans have come to love."

Last season Wallace directed the Rainbow Warriors to their second-ever regular season Western Athletic Conference title as well as their second consecutive WAC Tournament crown. For his efforts, Wallace was named NABC District 13 Coach of the Year and WAC Coach of the Year. It was his third WAC honor after earning it in 1989 and 1997.

"All parties involved worked extremely hard to get this done. The contract satisfied both sides and that's always positive," said Wallace. "This will definitely help our recruiting efforts because recruits look at length of coaches contracts when deciding where to go. It also helps in a lot of the decision-making that goes on in trying to help keep the program successful."

Through 15 seasons, Wallace has guided the ‘Bows to four appearances in the National Invitation Tournament (1989, ‘90, ‘97, ‘98) and three showings in the NCAA Tournament (1994, 2001, 2002). He captured the school‘s first-ever WAC Tournament title in 1994. Wallace‘s 254-206 (.552) record places him first all-time among UH basketball coaches in wins against four-year college opponents and in total victories.

A native of Illinois, the 61-year-old began his collegiate coaching career at his alma mater, Centenary, as an assistant coach. In 1976, he assumed the dual role of athletics director and head coach.

In 1978, Wallace took the post of associate head coach at Hawai'i under long-time UH coach Larry Little. He left briefly to head the Seminole Junior College program but returned to the state to become the program‘s 17th head coach in 1987.

Michael Wilton

"I think this is a great statement by the University in extending Mike Wilton's contract. He has done a terrific job molding young student-athletes into great volleyball players both on the court and in the classroom," said Frazier. Wilton is a coaching veteran with 24 years of experience at the collegiate level and a phenomenal record of 203-87 at UH, as well as a pair of national coach of the Year honors and two NCAA Finals appearances. However, Wilton‘s crowning glory came last season when he led the Warriors to a four-game defeat of Pepperdine to clinch the NCAA Championship match broadcast on ESPN. This was a historic moment for the entire University because no men‘s team had won a national title in the history of UH.

Currently in his 11th season, Wilton is back on the hunt for another national crown. With 521 career wins, including a program best 200 with Hawai'i, Wilton has established himself as one of the most successful volleyball coaches in the country.

"I'm very appreciative of the effort that everyone involved put forth to get this done. It shows a great commitment to me and the men's volleyball program," said Wilton.

Wilton arrived in Hawai'i in the 1960‘s to play volleyball for Church College of Hawai'i, now called BYU-Hawai'i. Wilton took over the Warrior program after a year as an assistant with the BYU men‘s squad. Prior to that, Wilton spent 12 seasons with the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo women‘s team, posting an impressive 283-137 record with the Mustang women from 1978-89. He also headed the Cal Poly men for three years. Wilton served as an assistant with the UC Santa Barbara men, and was men‘s head coach at BYU — Hawai'i in 1976.

For more information, visit: http://www.uhathletics.hawaii.edu